Exploring the Influence of Gender Dynamics in Construction Choices

In the realm of construction and design, the motivations behind the choices we make are often complex and multi-faceted. While functionality, aesthetics, and budget constraints play crucial roles, it's intriguing to ponder whether gender dynamics also shape our creations. Specifically, do men engage in construction projects with the intention of impressing women? Is there a subtle yet significant role of gender dynamics that is shaping our built environment?

Historically, societal expectations and traditional gender norms have assigned specific roles and responsibilities to men and women. The stereotypical image of the provider, protector, and builder has often been associated with masculinity. As a result, the construction and design of spaces have, consciously or subconsciously, reflected these societal norms. Men, influenced by societal expectations, might find themselves drawn to construction projects that align with these traditional ideals, implicitly seeking to impress women by embodying characteristics associated with strength, capability, and success.

Consider the aesthetics of a building or living space. It's not uncommon to find that men may be inclined to design or choose elements that they perceive as attractive to women. Opulent features, luxurious materials, or even grandiose architectural styles could be driven by a desire to impress. This phenomenon is not limited to personal spaces but extends to public structures and infrastructure projects, where the desire to create visually appealing environments may be influenced by societal expectations and the pursuit of admiration.

The Taj Mahal, one of the most iconic architectural expressions of love, was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The monument stands as a testament to a man's grand gesture to honor and immortalize the woman he loved.


The Taj Mahal

Located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands of the Saint Lawrence River, Boldt Castle was commissioned by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt as a tribute to his beloved wife, Louise.


Boldt Castle

"I am often influenced by the context and the people surrounding me," shared Petr Stefek, an architect from The Czech Republic, "emphasizing the collaborative nature of our design work within a team. I must confess that on occasion, I am guilty of designing, not solely, but with the intention of impressing women. During the creation of the Fisher Street building in London, my thoughts were occupied by a close friend in Canada. I kept her informed throughout the process, aspiring to capture her interest. In this architectural endeavor, the building form embodied a couple, with the new contemporary addition symbolizing the protective male, and the existing listed building representing the elegant lady given space to shine prominently in front of him, impressing the Chancery Lane street frontage. Such instances do occur, yet the identities and narratives are concealed beneath the cladding of our imagination, in contrast to the explicit characters found in movies or books."

Stefek believes that the presence of an inspiring individual, particularly a woman, tends to impact our creative process positively, characterized by a healthier ego and a more empathic understanding of the subject.

"As architects, our goal is to contribute to society in a meaningful way, akin to the role of a writer, poet, or movie director who remains contemporary and attuned to current societal issues," said Stefek.

Advancements in technology and construction techniques have also played a role in shaping the gendered identity associated with construction projects. The use of heavy machinery, precision tools, and innovative building materials can contribute to the perception of construction work as inherently masculine. Men involved in these projects may find a sense of fulfillment and identity in mastering these technologies, inadvertently seeking recognition from society, and potentially impressing women with their technical prowess.

Atheer Al-Soghayer, a Senior Producer based in Tokyo, believes that individuals can become deeply engrossed in their personal standards of beauty rather than being solely motivated by a desire to impress. She expresses, "I see a certain romance inherent in design. For architects and designers, true engagement in the creative process involves a genuine passion for crafting something beautiful and functional. They become captivated by their vision of beauty and strive to bring it to life. Prior to seeking approval from others, their focus lies in the pursuit of their own ideals of beauty."

Construction projects often involve overcoming challenges, both physical and logistical. Men may be drawn to these projects as a means of showcasing their strength, resilience, and problem-solving skills – attributes traditionally associated with masculinity. The act of building, whether it be a towering skyscraper or a meticulously designed home, becomes a testament to their capabilities, serving as a subtle but powerful display of strength that could be intended to impress and attract admiration.



The Burj Al Arab, often celebrated as one of the most luxurious hotels globally, has faced occasional criticism for its opulent design.

But Luai Kurdi, an architect based in Prague, offers a divergent perspective regarding the idea that men predominantly construct to impress women.

"On the contrary,” said Kurdi, “I believe men build to impress other men. Throughout history, dating back to ancient times when world leaders constructed grandiose and intricate architectures, the purpose was not solely to captivate the attention of women. Rather, it was a demonstration of power and status, a message intended for other leaders across the globe—a subtle dance of establishing dominance. In our contemporary world, this dynamic persists. Many men employ their wealth as a means to communicate dominance or superiority, not necessarily targeting women but rather resonating within the sphere of interactions with other men. Whether it's manifested in luxurious homes, extravagant cars, or other displays of opulence, the underlying motivation remains rooted in a complex interplay of status and power."


Completed in 2015, the Shanghai Tower is the second-tallest building in the world, an example of a dominant building.

While the question of whether men build to impress women may not have a straightforward answer, it is evident that gender dynamics play a role in shaping construction choices. Rather than building to impress, the focus should be on collaboration, creating spaces that reflect the diversity of experiences and preferences in our ever-evolving society.